This Sheriff’s Public Service Announcement Has Been Compared To ISIS Propaganda

A Florida sheriff who put out a no-nonsense public service announcement intended to target America’s heroin epidemic appears to have ruffled some feathers, with many commenters comparing the sheriff’s video to something that ISIS might have published as propaganda.

The clip features Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell standing in front of a podium while flanked by two pairs of masked, armored policemen.

“To the dealers that are pushing this poison, I have a message for you: We’re coming for you,” he says. “As a matter of fact, our undercover agents have already bought heroin from many of you. We are simply awaiting the arrest warrants to be finalized.”

Grinnell then goes on to sow paranoia among the ranks of Florida’s heroin peddlers by spelling out how they will be tracked down and punished, his words punctuated by an earnest piano track.

Online commenters were quick to poke fun at the video and question its efficacy in combating the drug problem.

“These cops look like they’re going to create a caliphate and behead moderate police officers,” one Twitter user wrote, while another commenter opined: “Police need to re-learn their roles because in the end, they are not the military. Smart police use the public to gain understanding of problems, not threaten the public with midnight no-knock raids.”

Lake County has been particularly plagued by the opioid epidemic, recording a surge in heroin-related deaths from seven in 2015 to 32 the following year. Across the state of Florida, 752 deaths last year were blamed on heroin.